Virginia H. Lampe, 56, a past president of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women and vice chairman of the Virginia State Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, died of cancer Dec. 14 at Arlington Hospital.

Over the past 25 years Mrs. Lampe had held posts in the Republican Party from the precinct level to the national level. She also had been active in many organizations concerned with mental health.

In the mid-1960s, she was the campaign chairman for Kenneth M. Haggerty in his successful bid for a seat on the Arlington County Board. From the late 1960s through 1972, she was campaign chairman for former congressman Joel T. Broyhill, who represented Virginia's 10th District until 1974.

Mrs. Lampe was 10th District Republican chairman, the first woman of either party to chair a congressional district in Virginia.

She also was a member of the Republican State Central Committee and the board of the National Federation of Republican Women.

She was cochairman of the state campaign of Gov. John Dalton and in 1972 she was national executive administrator of volunteers for the Nixon for President committee. She was a member of the Nixon inaugural committees in 1968 and 1972 and a delegate to the GOP national convention in 1976.

This year she was Northern Virginia chairman of Women for Reagan and vice chairman of the Warner for Senate Committee in behalf of Sen. John Warner.

In addition to her work with the Virginia State Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Mrs. Lampe was Virginia cochairman of the First Lady's Project for the Mentally Retarded, a member of the board of the Virginia Mental Health Association, a past chairman of the advisory committee of the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute, and a member of the Northern Virginia Association of Retarded Citizens.

Mrs. Lampe, a resident of Arlington since 1953, was born in Brookeville, Md. She graduated from American University.

She was a past president of the Service League of Northern Virginia and was a member of the American Association of University Women and Faith Lutheran Church.

Survivors include her husband, Henry O., of Arlington, and her father, C. Willard Harvey of Brookeville.